Graduate Students

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Second Year Students (Entered Fall 2013)

 Katy-Clune-ed2 Kathryn (Katy) Clune is most recently from Washington, D.C. and grew up around the world, thanks to her father’s career in the Foreign Service. She earned her B.A. at UC–Berkeley in art history, with an emphasis in contemporary art and politics. Katy has supported the public work of cultural organizations since 2008, most recently working as communications manager for The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C.. Inspired by global cultural heritage, she has delved into issues of cultural representation and audience engagement while at Carolina.​ Her thesis project, “Home in a New Place: Making Laos in Morganton, NC” explores how Lao-American craft their homeland in a rural southern community.

 Sandra-Davidson-ed Born and raised North Carolina, Sandra Davidson received her B.A. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. After graduating she founded Living Narratives, a company that helped businesses, families, and organizations document and preserve their history through oral histories and personal narratives. She believes personal stories can change perspectives and is interested in exploring the potential of Folklore in the arena of public health education and outreach around issues related to food.  
 Alison-Kiney-ed Alison Kinney values the artistic expressions of our everyday lives: the stories we tell, the food we cook, and the music we play, among many others. Through community engagement, education, research, documentation, and community programming, Alison aspires to foster cross-cultural conversation, community cohesion, and cultural and economic development.
Alison graduated from the University of Oregon with a BA in Anthropology and Spanish. Now as she peruses her Masters in Folklore, Alison is dedicated to collaborative and community-led research in the local Karen farming community.
 Phillip-MacDonald-ed Phillip MacDonald, a native North Carolinian, graduated in 2012 from North Carolina State University with a B.A. in History.  During his time as an undergraduate, he completed a history honors thesis titled “Yonder Stand Ten Thousand: African American Bluesmen, Mobility, Masculinity and the Question of Violence in Mississippi.”  Phillip is currently pursuing an MA in Folklore to continue his research in African American expression relating to identity, history, and consciousness.  When not conducting research, Phillip also enjoys photography, creating music, and collecting vinyl.
 Caroline Miller Caroline Miller is a native North Carolinian, graduated from Elon University with a B.A. in Anthropology. As an undergraduate she completed an honors thesis titled, “Playing Poor: Images of Travellers in Irish Settled People’s Narratives.” She is interested in exploring issues of identity, marginalized groups, narrative analysis, and Irish culture. She is currently completing a masters thesis that seeks to better understand the experiences of caseworkers at the Department of Social Services in Alamance County through the narratives that they share.

First Year Students

moroccocrop Victoria Bouloubasis is a food writer and journalist who grew up in a family-run restaurant environment. She moved to North Carolina at the age of seven and graduated with a B.A. in Journalism and a B.A. in Spanish from UNC-Chapel Hill. As a journalist, she has been a chief contributor to INDY Week since 2008 and has published in The Guardian, The American Prospect, Modern Farmer and The Local Palate. In 2014, she directed Un Buen Carnicero, a bilingual documentary by Vittles Films and Southern Foodways Alliance. Set at Carrboro’s Cliff’s Meat Market, the film explores the complex realities of immigrant life while celebrating America’s freedom and questioning its convenience. Prior to beginning the master’s program, she managed communications at the nonprofit Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA. Victoria in interested in and writes about the cultural symbolism and identity associated with food, sustainable agriculture, the fight for fair food access and farmworker rights.
 Claire Cusick is a writer, baker and storyteller. She has been a newspaper writer and editor, and now works at UNC in Development Communications in the Office of University Development. She is interested primarily in storytelling, and since great stories happen when people are gathered around a table, she has become interested in food, culture and history.
IMG_3977 (2) Rachel Kirby was born a Virginian and raised a North Carolinian. She has a B.A. in Art History from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Before returning to UNC, Rachel worked for the Preservation Society of Charleston, South Carolina where she researched the stories of the city’s historic houses. She is interested in material culture and memory, and she hopes to use the objects of the South as tools for discovering a more diverse and holistic understanding of the region’s history and culture. 
Shyra Peyton is a first-year masters student in folklore studies program. Her areas of interest are in public folklore, oral histories, and community preservation projects. In addition to pursuing a folklore degree she is also seeking to obtain a graduate certificate in participatory research. Before coming to the folklore program Shyra worked both as a program and participant assistant for festival programs at the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Prior to that she served as a Peace Corp volunteer in rural Nicaragua. Shyra aims to use her studies in the folklore program to raise the level of appreciation for the cultural diversity found within the African Diaspora.
 sol 2 Sol Weiner, originally from Dallas, Texas, is passionate about exploring the intersections of landscape, foodways, and community organizing in the U.S. South. In 2014 he graduated from Guilford College with honors, earning a B.S. in Community and Justice Studies. While there he developed a collaborative relationship with the Rural Empowerment Association For Community Help in Warsaw, North Carolina, and worked with them to create a documentary, Swine Country: The Fight For Clean Air and Water in Duplin County, North Carolina. Other interests and passions include playing country and old-time music, taking day trips to barbecue joints, and re-watching The Wire over and over again.